Last Saturday's sunshine I'm sure had more than a few of us fooled into thinking spring is just around the corner. Sunday's constant drizzle coupled with the fog that descended on my home reminded me however that there is still another month of winter left. Enough time then, to prepare ourselves for the activities that accompany fine weather - namely, picnics.
For some time now I've been toying with the idea of creating personalised picnic sets. I was going to make one for myself, and then my mother gave me a delightful red and white polka dot set complete with matching cutlery which rendered the initial plan unnecessary. I didn't shelve the idea completely though, it has sat in the back of my mind, gradually morphing into something that has finally become a reality.
When I first had the idea, I purchased melamine plates and cups during a sale. Since then I've become aware of the large (and probably increasing) amount of second hand plastic ware and picnic paraphernalia that can be found at garage sales and second hand stores such as The Mill Market. Some of it is in better condition than others, and the prices can vary from a bargain to extortionate highway robbery. With all second hand shopping it's a good idea to know what you want and what you're willing to pay. A bit of creativity whether related to the initial concept or bartering doesn't go astray either.
By the time the paraphernalia has been purchased you should have some idea as to the colour scheme you're going for. The next step is to find fabric that matches, or contrasts, whichever you prefer. For my initial project I bought corduroy which is durable (important for the exterior of the picnic set) and patterned cotton with which to line it with.
Before you begin, work out what you want the end product to look like. It's important to think about how all the plates, cups, cutlery Etc. are going to fit in. Are they going to be loose or secure? I decided to secure the plates with elastic, and left the cutlery container and cups loose. I figured the picnic rug would fill up the empty spaces and thus prevent them from rattling around.
Picnic accessories such as plates, cups and cutlery
Exterior fabric such as corduroy (the fabric should be durable)
Lining (choose something bright and fun)
Extra fabric for napkins and a table cloth if desired
A very rough method...
Step 1: measure the plates and use this measurement to work out the width, length and depth of the bag; create templates using these measurements (don't forget the seam allowance)
Step 2: place the templates on your material and once you are satisfied, cut out your pieces
Step 3: sew the pieces together
Step 4: fill with accessories
Plan a menu and wait for fine weather to embark on a picnic adventure!